Ed Templeton: Hairdos of Defiance

Reviewed by Shana Nys Dambrot

A good mohawk hairdo is a statement that both deflects and demands attention. “Look at me! What are you looking at?” It’s a uniform of nonconformity. An easily deciphered message that screams trouble with a booming laugh. It’s a sculptural and painterly art form, hard to achieve, defying laws of both gravity and gravitas. It’s tribal plumage, it’s gender neutral, or rather, gender-blasting. It’s inconvenient and amazing. It’s kind of a dare. It’s edgy, it’s aspirational. It’s been the province of the punks, outsiders, and leather-clad. There’s nothing cooler than a mohawk.

Artist Ed Templeton works with photography in the modality of long-form collections, each based on narratives that have emerged organically during his career as a world-traveling skateboard icon. In addition to skating, photography, and painting, Templeton has made loads of books and 100s of ‘zines, so his brain sort of naturally thinks in terms of thematic collections. Each project investigates a unique, semi-private subculture, for example his 1999 book and show Teenage Smokers was accumulated from his global skateboard circuit tour. This time, it’s about people with mohawks.

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Ed Templeton, from his new book Hairdos of Defiance

To read the rest of Dambrot’s review, go to Riot Material magazine: https://www.riotmaterial.com/ed-templeton-hairdos-of-defiance/

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